A decent follow-up to the first chapter which leans into the more humorous side of the show.
This recap of Cafe Minamdang season 1, episode 2 contains spoilers. You can check out our recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.
After finding himself stunned by a shoe when pursuing Jae-hui, Han-joon swears he will catch the person he knows as “Looney.” Meanwhile, the detectives get to work on the hit-and-run case, searching for evidence within the crime scene, only to temporarily come up short. So, Jae-hui tasks her team with checking CCTV footage of the area, something that allows for Shin Gyeong-ho to be properly traced. Here, we find out he’s rather famous among the police, most notably for being released after killing somebody.
Cafe Minamdang season 1, episode 2 recap
As the investigation continues, and Gyeong-ho himself throws a strop over the loss of his sports car, Han-joon pays the criminal a visit, claiming that he is here to help the “rich idiot.” It’s not exactly a welcomed drop-in, but the fraudulent shaman proves his worth when recalling the man’s past during one of his rituals. In a quick flashback scene, we do see that Han-joon has a vested interest in Gyeong-ho, in addition to the alleged murder he was once acquitted of, a case he manages to find the true cause of through intense deduction.
Vowing to be able to prevent this misfortune, but nothing more, Han-joon offers to help should the rich VP stay out of trouble going forward. Convinced, Gyeong-ho begs for the shaman’s services, in exchange for the agreement that he won’t even make it to court. Elsewhere, the detectives reveal a call to say that the car has been located, potentially giving them a leg-up, even amidst worries that a warrant for the search and seizure would not be issued. That’s because Cha Do-won, the “Chatterbox of Seoul Western District Prosecutors’ Office,” is on their side, and will happily oblige the request.
After we see Do-won show off his skills in being able to wear down criminals into confessions with his intense discussions over previous crimes to the point their ears bleed, he seems keen on issuing the warrant Du-jin is worried about. It sparks some life into the experienced detective though, who notifies his colleagues that they’ll need to move fast as it won’t be long before the criminal finds out about the warrant himself. However, their conversation is being watched by Hye-Jun, who waits until the rookie cop is left alone to enact their group’s plan of giving dashcam footage over as part of a grander scheme.
In time, the detectives arrive at the door of Gyeong-ho, who surprisingly volunteers to come to the station in a rather taunting manner. To his dismay though, he still ends up cuffed, before Han-joon joins in on the fun from a vantage point to instruct his client to look more confident as he will be released soon. His appearance draws ire from Jae-hui, who is shocked over why the shaman is representing the same man he reported. “That’s also a part of client management,” Han-joon replies, confident that attempted murder is easier to solve than murder. And, although initially, the fraudster is unshaken, some annoyance rises when he decides that the detective swearing to get to the bottom of what he is scheming is in fact Looney. Still though, Han-joon mistakes all of this for affection, leaving him with a hefty shin kick when such a theory is vocalized.
Next, we see how the corrupt internal inspector Jung Cheong-gi could play a vital part in the case that’s unfolding, with a flashback showing his role in ensuring Gyeong-ho was freed a year ago for his last crime. Keen to avoid any backlash due to the man’s status, the police worker is again won over by the idea of cash, and is happy to follow any orders once he realizes just how much of it he’ll be earning for helping out. Meanwhile, the detectives run through the footage with Gyeong-ho in the hopes of making him crack. Yet, when this seems on the verge of happening, with the status of the VP upgraded from suspect to perpetrator, Han-joon again returns to the scene, proving that the dashcam footage they’re using as evidence was in fact obtained by illegal means (because it was handed over before any warrant was officially issued).
As a result, the rookie detective’s haste becomes a costly error, one leading to the release of a smug Gyeong-ho from custody. Jae-hui remains determined, however, vowing to see the VP again as soon as he exits, undeterred by the major dent in their investigation. Outside, Han-joon does chastise his client, warning the rich VP one last time that he won’t be able to help him in any future incidents, and he will instead turn to aiding his victims.
Both furious and curious about how the dashcam footage ended up in the police’s hands early, Jae-hui confronts Han-joon about his actions, before a flashback shows the two meeting in earlier days when the shaman was still a profiler. Remembering such a time, the “ghost” detective wants the fraudster to come to his senses as a former cop, or she will arrest him herself. Later on, we see that Jae-hui has only been transferred due to her new team’s imminent disbandment, but Du-jin becomes a surprising figure of support when he points out that if Gyeong-ho isn’t arrested, the force will be viewed as a complete joke. Thus, the chief is convinced of the task’s need and goes as far as threatening to sack the two should justice not be brought.
After convincing the rookie detective to stick around despite his costly error, the detectives soon find themselves annoyed by a taunting, pseudo-comforting Han-joon, claiming that he is declaring war on them. It rouses Du-jin and Jae-hui into action, with the pairing ready to jump into action and ask the criminal’s car passenger to testify for them. Unfortunately, she appears to have already been swayed by the other side, so manages to flee when the experienced detectives attempt to bring her in for a chat.
Troubled by what he had heard about his former life as a policeman, Han-joon seems to convince himself to hand over Gyeong-ho, with his friends believing that his frenemy was the key to his decision. So, the group decides that their bait is the corrupt inspector Cheong-gi, but the official cannot be phased by any petty tactics, so he requires a harsher approach. The new plan is rather simple, that Cheong-gi should have his handing over evidence to Min-gyeong exposed, so that Gyeong-ho reacts aggressively, and creates an opening for the internal inspector to become vulnerable to a compromised deal involving some coming clean.
With the wheels in motion, Jae-hui subtly observes the group’s movement from afar, wondering what they could be doing at such a late hour of the day. Curious, and with the knowledge that their security isn’t exactly watertight, she heads straight into what she believes could be a show house, and, through some coincidence, sees their gazes into the crime world. There, she sees her deceased brother on file, along with some information relating to him, which drives the detective into deeper rooting. However, it’s stunted by the group’s rather swift return, and a vibrating phone exposes the very fact that Jae-hui was in the building in the first place. With Han-joon opening the door to find himself smothered by the panicked detective, we cut to the epilogue, which shows the former policeman receiving a gift from his current frenemy in his life as a profiler.